There’re already a lot of websites these days, and interestingly, how each of them works is diversely unique from one another. Well, I’m not talking about the looks of the websites; I am referring to how they perform and to what purpose they serve.
Yet here you are today looking for some ideas to get guidance on your upcoming website. You must have been looking around, trying to decide what kind of website should you ‘buy.’ But looking at the functions or capabilities, you might be thinking of:
- A site with multiple pages, or even a single-page website.
- You want a separate page for a blog, but it’s sitting within the same website.
- You want to incorporate feeds from your favorite news sites, and even feeds from social network sites.
- You want to include a lot of photos, and probably even videos.
- You want some ads and affiliate links to help you earn.
- You want a site that also sells books you have written… or products.
I will not be surprised if you say ‘Well, I have encountered these features before in a single website!” Yes, they do work, and incorporating all of those features is not a crime. However, for starters, you might want to think about which type you would want to start with.
There’re different types of websites today. Many people call these types in different ways, and even group them according to how they work. But as for me, I would like to give you a short list:
- Personal websites
- Community & networks
- News and information
- Search engines & directory sites
- E-commerce/shopping sites
- Brochure/catalogue websites
- Files-sharing websites
1. Static vs Dynamic WebsitesBasically, before we delve into the types of websites you can choose, you must first learn that a website is categorized according to behavior; some sites are static, and others are dynamic.
Static sites are sites on the web as they are, regardless of the country to where they’re being opened, and regardless the people who view them. Static sites usually do not open rooms for accounts or build communities, though it is still a possibility.
On the other hand, dynamic sites react based on given conditions or parameters set ahead by the administrator or is modified upon user interaction. Dynamic sites usually pose content and even change the way they behave when a specific trigger is proposed, such as a student being given of his favorite reading materials or examination files based on his personal progress or interests. Dynamic sites do not mean that there are flashy banners or rolling ads.
2. Personal Websites
These websites are personal, hence, generally they’re designed to be private rather than public. Content can vary from simple notes taken or a collection of photos.
Personal websites, though private as they are, can also be shared. These sites are helpful if you just want to limit the access of the information to a group, family members, or colleagues for work or personal purposes. Personal websites are not designed to be a venue for earning.
If you want a private domain where you store some sensitive or personal data, such as an online diary, or a place to where you and your friends’ stories meet, then choose a personal website.
Getting to be overly common these days, the word ‘blog’ is actually derived from the words ‘web log.’
A blog today is a website featuring content that should be useful and friendly to people’s needs and wants. Unlike personal websites, blogs are designed to be public, and the information is supposed to be shared to anyone as much as possible.
Compared to other kinds of websites, a blog can be more flexible and can incorporate more features. A blog can deal with a topic of your choice (whether you want to talk about food or your expertise in web design), and you can post stories, news, updates, and even photos and videos within.
You can also earn with blogs through the use of affiliate links and allowing ads on your blog site, or even marketing your product!
Generally also, a blog is also run by a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.
These systems help bloggers post new stories and even take control of their content in the easiest way possible. A blog is used by different kinds of people with different kinds of expectations.
Whether you are into a business, an author, a photographer, a high school student, or a fish lover—a blog is a haven for information that you want to share.
4. Communities & Networks
You’re very aware of these—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. These are the websites specifically designed for making connections between people in the digital way. A social network site comes with a lot of features and unique capabilities, most of which you cannot replicate within a blog or a static website alone.
Aside from empowering ways to help people communicate ideas and stories, social networks can also be very effective in marketing products, services, and skills.
Bloggers use social networks to help their content reach more people. Entrepreneurs use social networks to build camaraderie among people and to even market what they have to offer. Other websites also use social networks mainly to get more traffic.
Forums are also a form of social network, though these sites usually are the centers for discussions. People go to forum to ask opinions, instructions, and even solutions to queries or problems, all in wait for some other members to exchange ideas.
Forums are generally helpful for customer support and retention purposes, rather than making them the main source of traffic or meeting new people.
5. News & Information
As the name implies, these are the sites dedicated to bringing fresh or valid information to people. Sites such as CNN (www.cnn.com), BBC (www.bbc.com), Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/), WikiPedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) and even CNET (www.cnet.com) fall unto this type of website.
On the other side of the story, blogs which deal with the latest trends, practices, and even updates can also fall on this type of website.
But be careful though: blogs should appear as blogs and nothing else! Lastly, websites under this type don’t need to get all the information about everything! If you’re into cameras, for example, then your site can be a good source of information simply about it.
6. Search Engines & Directory Sites
These are the websites that help people get direct information from a string of keywords or search queries. Yellow Pages (www.yellowpages.com) does it right by helping people get contact details from businesses across the globe.
Google (www.google.com) also aids people in search queries by crawling to virtually all websites to harvest helpful information that are most relevant to a set of words being entered.
7. E-commerce/Online Shopping Sites
Like Amazon (www.amazon.com) and eBay (www.ebay.com), these are the websites whose main goal is to sell and nothing else.
Unlike most types of websites, an e-commerce site is generally the hardest to develop on behalf of designers and developers. Online shopping sites not only demand a good look and neat presentation of content, but people would always require these sites to be totally secure especially in processing payments. And as you’d expect, like any businesses and retail stores, an online shopping site requires much more maintenance, better human resource, and a more solid backbone to maintain a consistent and reliable performance.
8. Brochure/Catalogue Websites
Another very common type of website, brochure sites are generally more for marketing purposes. People with businesses put up brochure websites merely for online presence, followed by other purposes such as getting traffic and even selling products.
Authors, designers, web developers, architects, and even agencies use this type of website to let people know of them.
Brochure websites aren’t necessarily required to be complicated; in fact, the simpler and clearer, the better. Brochure websites can by either dynamic or static, and can come either as a single-page website or multi-page website.
This type of website simply answers the basic W’s (who, what, where, when, and even the how) of a company, identity, or brand.
9. Files-Sharing Websites
Files-sharing websites, or some would call them as online/cloud storages, is another type of website you should not miss to know.
Examples of this type include Dropbox (www.dropbox.com), Rapidshare (https://rapidshare.com/home), and even Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/).
The main purpose of these sites is to store content and allow them to be shared conveniently in the most diverse ways possible.
People can create an account (and sometimes asked for registration and monthly premiums), upload or backup their files for storage and security purposes, and share them using unique links. Torrent sites such as KickAssTorrents (http://kickass.to/) and ThePirateBay (http://www.thepiratebay.sx/) can also fall under this type.
How Should You Choose?
For a website, you can have as much features as you choose, as long as you need them all and they do not distract people from your website’s ultimate or main goal. However, for starters, you may ask yourself these questions:
- What is the main thing that I will offer on my website? Is it a list of products? A service? Information? Stories? Ideas? Tutorials? Videos? Photos?
- What is the type of website that fits to my schedule and budget so far? (the more complicated the site is, the more expensive)
- Do I have people to help me build and maintain this site? Am I willing to hire, just in case?